Category: Spiritual Path
How can I be free of lust? How can I convert this energy of lust into divine love? Why is it that this energy cannot stop? This energy corrupts my mind to lustful thoughts. I WANT TO BE FREE OF this problem so that I experience no problem in the spiritual path.
You are dealing with one of the greatest challenges on the spiritual path — but it is also the greatest opportunity. The energy that is manifesting as lust is the same energy that will give you liberation. Yogananda said our emotions were like “rocket fuel.” When we are troubled by lust our rocket fuel is focused downward in the spine. When we develop devotion and practice Kriya Yoga our rocket fuel is focused upward in the spine.
Do not condemn your behavior or think it unfair. Those thoughts will only prevent you from the real work of transmutation. Do not think of your sexual desire as a particular kind of energy. It is just energy. Through habit and conditioning your energy is flowing toward the sex organs. Here are some things you can do to redirect your energy to higher fulfillment:
1. Exercise regularly. It will free blocked energy.
2. Maintain a diet that promotes thorough elimination. A constipated bowel irritates and stimulates the sex nerves.
3. Avoid sexually suggestive magazines, movies, and internet sites.
4. Develop a regular devotional practice. Chant. Pray. Awaken the heart’s love for God with great determination.
5. Practice Kriya Yoga. Kriya Yoga draws energy directly up the spine into the brain, away from the sex organs, and toward the spiritual eye.
Be patient and kind to yourself. You will have times when you feel like you are making progress — and you will likely have times when you feel as if you are getting nowhere. Do not give up. Do not feel that you are not spiritual because you feel sexual desire or act on sexual desire. If you remain set on your goal, no matter what set backs you may experience, you will not only prevail over your unwanted lust, but you will begin to experience an inner joy that is far sweeter, and far more lasting, than anything the you can experience through the senses.
Puru (Joseph) Selbie
I want to know about myself. Who I am? why I am here? What is the purpose of my life — job, family, or something else? Why do I always change my decision? Why do people make fun of me? Am I not a good person? How can I find out myself. In our culture marriage is very important, and I am still single. Will I get married or not? How I should live my life? and if I will get married, how I can find that he is my soulmate? Sometime I feel I am good for nothing. Please help me to make my mind clear.
The times we live in changed the old boundaries that supported our lives. We have to find out who we are by our own experiences. We have to find out the meaning of life by ourselves. Paramhansa Yogananda and other great teachers say that the meaning of life is to find God, that roaming in the world of the senses, wanting pleasures, money, marriage, will not give true happiness. True happiness comes first by knowing one’s self, the Divine within. Pure joy comes only through knowing God. This is a constant and does not fluctuate with each new desire, as the joy of God is beyond desires.
To begin we need to learn to meditate, to center our thoughts and feelings within our own self. Meditation can change your life and bring you clarity and banish confusion. I would suggest that you contact Ananda to obtain the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. I’m partial to these teachings but do know that other great teachers are also available. In India you will find our website at anandaindia.org. In America, for those who may be reading this reply, the website is ananda.org. These teachings are vast as they embrace all aspects of life.
It is vital to know your self, to know what direction in life you are to take, to feel confident, and to be a support to all without fear of their reactions to you. You can accomplish this through meditation and through the desire to find your true self through a spiritual path.
Blessings to you, Seva
Hi..I just read the article on anger by Nayaswami Jaya in which he says our frustrated desires are the causes of our anger.Master also said so.While desires is one of the causes,Idon’t think giving up desires can totally cure us of our anger.What about cases in which a loved one is murdered,or a husband leaves a wife and kids 10 years after marriage,or when one insults the other for no reason.Such causes of anger cant be attributed to desire.How can one deal with such anger.
In the situations you mention, think about the individual that is in anger. Are they not suffering and acting violent because their expectations were not being realized? This lack of living in contentment with what is (santosha), results in further falls into adharma; disappointment, frustration, anger, and violence.
By not residing in and practicing dharma (adherence to right action), one falls prey to lower tendencies, sometimes quickly. And these states are far less than mankind’s potential for grace and the many opportunities to experience many aspects of God’s presence. This adds to a the disappointment and is a sign to turn away from this behavior.
Frustrated desires provoke darkness and unhappiness, because when happiness is sought outside of ourselves, in others or in things or conditions for instance, the understanding is misplaced, as the true source of that Light, Love, Peace, Calmness, Energy and Joy, are from Spirit, God, Satchitananda (ever-new Bliss). One has then distanced themselves from their very Friend and Beloved, that aspect of God Yogananda called Divine Mother. Sometimes out of desperation, force is used on people and situations, complicating the downfall from grace. This is known as Tamas, or dark inertia. Krishna advised Arjuna in The Bhagavad Gita to get away from this ocean of pain and suffering. It is demonic and leads to spiritual death and misery.
Similar to what you described, we learn that when we think anything is ours, such as even various family members, they really aren’t! And they may not and usually do not comply with our expectations nor desires, nor the roles we thought they had to play, either by their own nature or by outer circumstances, such as the supposed "Murder" you describe. Remember, my friend "s", God is the real Director. So when one thinks, "I see that. I like it. I like the way it looks. It is mine."
We are sliding head-first into the mud and muck of delusion; no matter the magnitude of longing, our desire is eventually going to be denied. For a deluded soul that already can’t perceive the universal connection to Spirit, missing that true Love their soul longs for is a likely flashpoint to anger, pain and suffering.
I did want to bring this response to a more more uplifting conclusion, however! Know that the teachings of our great Guru Paramhansa Yogananda are in total agreement and support for finding true happiness, that the key lies within our reach if we ask for it. So ask yourself, do I want Peace? Do I want Love? If yes, then say "Yes!" to life, martial your willingness and willpower to get yourself energized to magnetically draw open the curtains to know God’s grace.
There, as saints in all cultures throughout time have pronounced and live, is the end to all sorrows, including desire and anger. The path of Kriya Yoga answers this call. To learn how you can have this and more, please go to the Ananda Course in Self-Realization page.
Peace and Blessings,
Hello i am wondering what should you do if you feel like you are starting to lose faith ?
The lives of the saints all attest to the challenges that come to one’s faith from time to time. In the Bhagavad Gita, too, Arjuna complains to Krishna, that he’s not sure he’s up for what it takes to achieve Self-realization: to defeat the kinfolk of self-doubt, worries, and concerns that a life of faith, good works, and prayer may not prove to be a good exchange for the comfortable and familiar worldly life embraced by common people everywhere!
Thus your challenge is a universal one and the soul’s response to this is, also, universal, even if for each of us we apply ourselves uniquely. Our consciousness, our attitudes, and our "spirit" is determined largely by the "company we keep." The company we keep includes people at work, at home, in the music and entertainment we surround ourselves with, and, of course, in the company of our own thoughts. "Environment is stronger than will," Paramhansa Yogananda is often quoted as saying.
Reflect on whether you are going through a cycle where you’ve stayed away from, say, group meditations or otherwise the company of spiritually minded friends, and esp those who have more to offer you than you’ve found on your own. We call this "satsang." Online talks by Swami Kriyananda, recordings of Yogananda’s voice, online classes at Ananda, going on retreat, serving together with others who share your spiritual path and so on. Keep the company of saints! This can include reading the lives of the saints, e.g., "Autobiography of a Yogi," (I’ve read it numerous times), the New Path, the life of St. Francis and on and on.
When our faith is challenged we can respond by putting out extra affirmation and energy. If you know at least some of the techniques of the path of kriya yoga (e.g., Energization Exercises, Hong Sau meditation, Aum technique and kriya), put out the extra energy to meditate more deeply, more energetically and, most of all, with great devotion. "Chanting is half the battle," Yogananda also counseled: listen (& sing) to chanting CD’s or play the chants yourself if you know how to.
Divine Mother tests our resolve, our love, and our dedication. Our karma, our past indulgences, rise like ghosts of the past to tempt us, to lull us, into "relaxing," being soft on ourselves, on being moody, filled with self-doubt. Don’t let these "frogs" of ego beat your soul’s power into submission! Arise Devotee: Awake! "I am awake and ready!" "I am positive, energetic, and enthusiastic!"
Be a warrior of inner joy, a "smile millionaire!"
How can I have God all the time?
Many of the techniques we practice on the spiritual path are so simple that we can all too easily fail to see how powerful they are.
We imagine that if something is complex and hard to understand, it must be powerful. If there are lots of things to remember, and if you have to get the syllables just right, then it must be important and powerful. Yet the techniques of this path are simple and powerful.
Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re easy. Practicing the presence of God is simple, for example, yet it’s a challenge.
You find that the more you practice, the more the boundaries of your ego dissolve, and the more you discover that you are part of a greater reality. And then your intuition develops, so that you find that you’re aware of that higher reality in everything.
Several years ago, Swami Kriyananda challenged us to keep our minds on God for just five minutes a day.
I was very embarrassed, because he was asking us to think of God without letting our minds wander: “I’m hungry,” “I want to get that blue dress,” “Oh, there’s a spot on my pants,” “What am I going to do tomorrow?”
We all know how it goes. You’re sitting there trying to meditate, repeating the mantra, and all of a sudden you aren’t. And you’re not sure exactly when you stopped doing the mantra.
That’s why we say we “practice,” because we have to practice bringing our minds back over and over whenever they wander away.
Yogananda said that if you take care of the minutes, the incarnations will take care of themselves. The problem is, we think we have to look past the minutes and take care of many important things. But if your consciousness is uplifted and centered here and now, you find that your life flows beautifully.
One of the reasons we chant is that singing the words is a wonderful way to keep our hearts engaged and our mind focused. When you repeat the words with feeling, the mind wants to practice the presence, because it sees how enjoyable it is.
When Brother Bhaktananda was a young disciple, he spent eight years constantly repeating a simple phrase: “I love you, Guru.” One day Yogananda saw him and said, “I love you, too.”
Swamiji’s book Affirmations for Self Healing gives us many wonderful phrases we can repeat to keep our minds in the present, on God.
I possess the creative power of spirit, the divine.
The infinite intelligence will guide me and solve every problem.
The sunshine of divine prosperity has just burst through my dark clouds of limitation.
I go forth in perfect faith in the power of omnipresent good to bring me what I need, at the time I need it.
When life’s laundry list tries to fill up your mind, you can start saying your affirmation and everything changes.
Frank Laubach was a protestant missionary in the Philippines. Rev. Laubach began to suspect there might be something more to religion than anyone had told him. He began to try to be constantly in the company of Jesus.
In his book Letters of a Modern Mystic, Laubach describes all the things he did to be aware of the presence of Jesus, and how difficult this simple idea was to practice – and how magnificently it turned out for him.
There’s a book called The Way of a Pilgrim by a Russian peasant who became a saint by practicing the presence of God. He had read in the Bible that we are supposed to “pray unceasingly.” And in his simple religious fervor, he set out to discover what it meant. He took as his mantra the Jesus Prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.”
At first he repeated it a little each day, then more and more, until he was saying it unceasingly. And then he began to discover that his breath, his heartbeat, and everything in the universe was the same. His prayer became all of creation, and he became nothing but that prayer.
These stories open startling possibilities. You realize that if we pick up these simple tools, how much can happen.
We think we have to do something big and important. We have to move somewhere and change our job so we can make more money and go on more retreats. But none of those things have to happen. You can find God if you step out the door of your mundane habits and start saying your chosen prayer.
It’s a thrilling process. Once you recognize the power of it, then you can have the presence of God anywhere. If you’re in a prison cell you can be with God. If you’re ill and can’t sit to meditate, you can do your practice and have God. If everybody in your family is screaming and won’t give you a moment’s rest, you can do it. Silently practicing the presence of God is the devotee’s secret weapon in the battlefield of life.
Hello! I’m in third year of medical school. I have been meditating whenever I get time. But this course load is very voluminous and demands a lot of study hours. And also I spend a lot of time in college. This has made me to slowly lose grip of meditation and spirituality. I’ve tried to dedicate my actions to God but I eventually fall back to the materialistic environment of college. Could you please suggest a way for me to balance both studies and spirituality? Thank you. God bless.
I have a close devotee friend who went through medical school and a crazy-making first year residency. It was a big challenge for him also to keep his grip on meditation and spirituality. I think the most important thing was that he did the best he could. He never gave up even when he was overwhelmed. There is a saying, “God watches the heart.” Even if you can’t find much time to meditate, and are surrounded by a busy environment, keep the goal in your heart. Practice patience. In future your situation will no doubt change for the better.
On a practical level you you could try to develop the habit of singing devotional chants whenever you get a chance. Once you’ve sung a chant it tends to stay in your mind and come floating back even as you do other things. Put some reminders around where you will see them: devotional pictures, uplifting sayings, spiritual books. Even just a glimpse of them can help you remember your inner goal. And, of course, meditate and seek satsang whenever you can, even if it is just for a few minutes.
Don’t lose hope. Your situation is temporary even though it seems like it will last forever. It too will pass. Keep God’s presence in your heart, if only to say hello. Think of God as a continuous silent partner in everything you are doing.
Puru (Joseph) Selbie
Why is there no one God? Why do people of every religion say there is a different God according to their faith? Isn’t Krishna Parameshwar (God) from whom every one comes and goes at end? How can God be undefinable? In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna told that he is the causes of all causes and everything. So why we can’t we say Krishna is the Parameshwar who is the supreme being. Please explain to me.
Dear Saksham Anand,
In fact, all the masters tell us that there is only one God. However, people’s understanding and preferences are so varied that they see God in countless different ways.
In Gita, Krishna says he is the cause of all, because he had left behind all sense of separateness (all sense of “Krishna”) and merged with the great ocean of consciousness that is God. He was speaking from the state of oneness with Parameshwar, or Brahman, or Purushottama, or Yahweh, or Allah, or whatever name one prefers to use.
The same can be said of the Buddha, Jesus, Ramakrishna, Paramhansa Yogananda, and so many other great masters. They all became one with The One.
If some people prefer to think of God as Truth, or as Universe, or as Divine Mother, or so many other ways, are those not valid also? Of course they are; God is everything. The value of our individual concepts of God, different though they are, is that they help us relate better to God, in a way that each of us can understand. They can show us a direction of movement by which to get closer to God. You prefer Krishna, and that is excellent. Why not allow others to follow their differing inspirations?
We will all arrive at the same place, at a time determined, not by the “correctness” of our concepts, but by the depth of our devotion, attunement, and receptivity.
All religions have some strengths and weakness.
What are the strengths and weakness of the Hindu religion?
According to my opinion, the strengths are its adaptability, recognition of the potential divinity of the human race, freedom of thought, universal outlook, non-violence, freedom from religious dictatorship and dogma, and reliance on reason to support its beliefs and practices.
Dear Jayantkumar Dhruv,
It would be simplistic for me to try to be definitive about the strengths and weaknesses of Hinduism, given the many different approaches to that religion: dualism, non-dualism, Vaishnava, Shaivite, Shaktism, etc. Even among followers of those many approaches, each individual has his or her own version of the approach. Of course, the same can be said of any religion.
And as you noted, all religions have pitfalls as well as strengths, since they are merely routes to Truth; they are not Truth itself. Religions can inspire and instruct, but the individual must do the work of getting back to God, in cooperation with divine grace. Religion is a starting point for many people, but it is certainly not a finishing point. As Swami Vivekananda said, “It is no doubt a blessing to be born into a religion, but it is a misfortune to die in one.”
The important thing for every person is to transcend religion in favor of spirituality, the measure of which is personal experience. Belief, outward practices, reason, intellectual freedom, etc. can be helpful, but they cannot take a person out of the ego, into union with God. Experience alone can do that, and such experience comes only to those who do inner work—devotional surrender to God, and deep meditation—that goes far beyond any particular religion.
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